I hear this question frequently from our clients and prospects; “How do we get rid of outrageous reviews that are lies, slander, defamation, or out of bounds with the guidelines of Yelp?” Answer? Submit a request for removal especially if the review isn’t compliant with the Yelp guidelines.
At least a third of the dealers I speak with come across bitter with just one mention of Yelp. Some of them might be throwing down their own gavel as Yelp is back on court over alleged extortion and review manipulating. Angry Business Owners Appeal Yelp Ruling Over Alleged Extortion
Yelp says “Inappropriate content: Colorful language and imagery is fine, but there's no need for threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry.”
What is even more disturbing is when you engage a disgruntled Yelper (could be a competitor smearing) to resolve the issue and all you get is another visceral low blow or flat out silence. Reacting with an attack against the offender is natural, but I would advise dealers to step back, stop defending it, and consider a request for removal rather than engaging in a nasty verbal salsa with a bitter enemy. Search engines love the dirt and the more you respond to belligerence, the higher the debate will rank for your dealership name.
One of our clients once asked, “Can you help me get a Yelp review removed?” He shared his feelings of defeat; “The owner of the dealership has been personally attacked and it’s destroying our reputation and we’re losing business.”
I told him the review was ludicrous; falling within Yelp’s inappropriate content guideline and he didn’t have to tolerate it. Here’s the Yelp review that was on the web for only a month and did significant brand damage.
The Consumer Yelp Review
The removal submission to Yelp from our client
The "review" that XXX has left our dealership is not only extremely far from an accurate account of her attempted transaction, but is a blatantly published defamation of our dealership’s character and slander. We are a locally owned business for over 30 years and our owner, XXX, is a former recipient of the "XXXX" award. For "XXX" to name my salesperson and call him a "Racist Idiot" is nothing short of slander and is an embarrassment to my salesperson and his family and to YELP for allowing such verbal abuse to occur on your site. [Dealer Name] works extremely hard in encouraging our customers to leave reviews on sites such as YELP because of the relevancy and authenticity of your reviews. However, this particular review is neither authentic or relevant and most of all it is defamation and slander. XXX other reviews also need looked at. They are also racially motivated and distasteful. We ask that you please remove this immediately.
Response from Yelp within 24 hours
We have removed the review by XXXXX because it falls outside our Content Guidelines. Please keep in mind that if the user chooses to edit their review so that it falls within our guidelines, we will allow it to remain on the site.
Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California
A huge victory for our client considering Yelp is not easily swayed in favor of the dealer. With dealers becoming more and more aware that Yelp dominates the mobile experience for iPhone users, now is the time to make the move to get content removed. If you’re not challenging defamatory reviews and instead, engaging in war, that’s like throwing cotton balls at a moving train.
If you’re wondering if filtered reviews on your Yelp listing are unjust and ludicrous, check out The Definitive Guide To Avoid the Yelp Review Filter